How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


A hole in the world – Rest in peace, my friend Peggie

Let's CUT the Crap!:

R.I.P. Huntie.
This is for those of you who have not seen her online for quite a line.

Originally posted on kanzen sakura:

Peggie Duggan passed away suddenly May 15. Many of you knew her as the brilliant and compassionate blogger at Chasing Rabbitholes.

Always fearless, always loving, always with a kind word. My heart is broken and I can only sit and weep at the light which has left our world. She leaves behind her rescued greyhound, Ella, her cat Elby, and friends who deeply love her and will miss her sweetness. The death of her brother Sean last year was so hard for her and I can only say that now the two are together and her heart is satisfied at being with those who have gone before.

Sleep well my friend. Rest. It was a hard battle for you. I love you.

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100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week 153

This week the prompt is: …but my poor old feet…+ 100 words

Come join in the fun. Click below to learn how:


Poor Old Feet

The kettle shrieked. Lucy shuffled in wearing flip flops and a housecoat. She emptied it into a bowl of Epsom salts set on the floor, and threw herself into the chair. She watched the water fizz. The steam is hot, the humidity’s hell, and the window fan’s a joke.

Impatient, she emptied half her water bottle into the bath, and dipped in a swirling toe, and then another.


The screen door slammed. “Battery’s dead. Hop along to town and buy me smokes.”

“I jus’ come from work.”

“Run along.”

“But my poor old feet—I been standin’…”


“What-the… Ow-ow-ow. Hot-hot-hot. You crazy…”

“Your turn. Git.”

 The End

© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

~ * ~


I had to check if my memories of Epsom salts were correct. Take a gander:


#BlogBattle Week 11

Rachael Ritchey is the originator of this challenge

The prompt this week: …news…

To join in click:


Susan hadn’t been away since her honeymoon twelve years before. Her excitement about the cruise roiled inside her like a pressure cooker ready to blow. There were so many details, concentrating wore her out.

“Harry, you printed the tickets, right?”

“Yes, I said I did.”

“And our passports?” She fumbled in their suitcase rechecking the contents yet again. “I made a list, but can’t find it. Have you seen it anywhere?”

“You worry too much. Come. I think you need a drink. “

“I’ll check on the twins first.  Scotch. Neat. See you in the living-room.”

Long-legged Harry reached her in one step and squeezed her elbow. Dark velvet eyes searched hers, luminous and gentle. Soot black curls hung over his forehead. “Two more days.”

She leaned into his lanky frame and breathed him in, then sighed. Dear Harry. What would I ever do without you?

He found her chin, lifted it with a finger, and caressed her mouth with a feathery kiss. Her face glowed pink. Before she found her voice, he patted her bottom and veered away. “Downstairs.”

Susan closed the twins’ bedroom door. A cell chimed downstairs. Who can that be? She massaged her neck and drifted down the steps, her husband’s side of the conversation muffled at first.

“Right. Yes. Of course. See you then.” He tossed the phone on the sofa.

“Who was that?” She stared wide-eyed at his now furled forehead, curls pushed back. “What’s wrong?”

“That was your dad. They missed their connection.”

“You’re doing that pulling-on-your-lip-thing. What else?” She rubbed her neck again.

Harry shifted his gaze to the tray of liquor bottles on the buffet. “Sit,” he said, “How about that drink?”

“What else?”

“They have an hour’s wait, but may turn back home. Your mother’s feeling unwell.”

“What the matter with her?” Hands crossed on her chest the words came out dry and hoarse as if she’d swallowed sand.

“Sounds like flu—they think. A nurse on their flight couldn’t confirm.” He handed her a drink and studied her face.

“But their connection is less than two hours away. They’re almost here.” Tucking wayward blonde hair behind an ear, she stared deep into her glass, as if unsure what to do with it. The errant wisps sprang back.

“Your dad will call when it’s sorted.” He threw an arm around her shoulder. “Take a drink. It’ll calm your nerves.”

Susan raised her glass. Half-way to her lips, the cell chimed. In a couple strides Harry seized the phone and set down his glass. His wife wiped her chin and patted her blouse where it had spilled. She pulled a shirt tail out of her jeans and dabbed at the wet spots.

“Good idea. If you’re sure, Peter… I’ll get a pen.”

She banged down her drink and raced to the kitchen for a pad and pen. Harry whipped them out of her grasp. Phone tucked against his shoulder, he nodded as he wrote. “Fine, I’ll see you before nine. Which terminal? Fine. Fine.”

“Tell me.”

“Where’s your drink? Tut-tut. First take a swallow.” She threw her head back. Harry grabbed the hand with the glass. “Not too fast.” Still she sputtered afterwards and he whacked her between the shoulder blades.

“Your Mom and Dad took a room at the airport hotel and will fly out in the morning. I’ll pick them up myself and cancel their limo for tonight.”

“So, Mom’s better?” Susan rubbed a temple and closed her eyes. “Now that we aren’t waiting up for them, maybe we should call it an early night.”

“My thoughts, exactly. Off you go, I’ll make that call and shut off the lights. Be up in a jiffy.

* * *

Susan crawled out of bed, mouth dry as cotton balls. Bleh. Cheerful birds chirped and tweeted outside the window. She padded to the bathroom to brush her teeth though she had done so the night before.

“Want pancakes for breakfast?” asked Harry, face buried in his pillow. No answer offered, he sat up and surveyed the room. The sheets and blankets were twisted and half on the floor. He checked his cell on the night table. No messages. Good.

Susan gargled and the water in the sink gurgled. She stuck her head around the open door. “You’re awake? Want pancakes? After I shower?”

“Go ahead. I’ll start in the kitchen. No texts. No news, which is good, right?”

* * *

Morning rush hour traffic brutal as usual, Harry arrived in plenty of time. The slip of paper wasn’t in his pocket. He pulled into the first parking lot and punched the number for home.

“Everything, okay? The school bus will be here in a minute.” Susan’s voice squeaked.

“Forgot the paper and can’t remember which terminal, one or three?”

“Where’s the paper? Boys don’t move. I mean it.”

“Living-room or night table.”

“Living-room— It’s two. See you soon.”

* * *

By ten o’clock, she’d paced and length of the living-room half a dozen times, peering out the window every few steps. Where is everyone? I’ll give them five more minutes.

Before Susan snatched the phone, it sprang to life. She blinked, startled. “Harry, where are you guys?”

“This is the drugstore. Your prescription is ready for pickup.”

“Oh! Thanks.”

The phone dropped on the coffee table, she continued to pace. A cruiser crept up the driveway. She was struck stock-still.

The End

 © 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


The Saturday Round Up- A cast of thousands.. well 6 or 7 really but all stars!

Let's CUT the Crap!:

When opportunity knocks, answer the darn door! Enjoy.

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

My husband returned on Wednesday night after a week in Ireland with his father.. author Geoff Cronin who some of you are already familiar with.. 92 and working on his next book…We have had some requests for his books in E-version and one will be released shortly and all of them are WIP.

I had intended to do a great deal in David’s absence and I did manage some of the list but I am afraid with unseasonal August temperatures I was tempted to be outside a great deal more than I intended.


I did however take my camera outside and capture some photos for my series on Tales from the Garden.. My only problem was that all the statues kept on getting photo bombed by Hippie..

Hippo and A guardian

My thanks as always to all of you who have dropped by and commented, shared and reblogged you are amazing.  Special thanks to…

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Macau, Day 21/22 (cont’d) and to Hong Kong

We walked and I gaped. I’m sure I stuck out like a greenhorn tourist. A jewelry store which displayed sparkling diamonds caught my attention. I leaned in for a closer look and banged my forehead on the window. Ouch. The glass was solid as a brick wall. The lights were so bright, the glass seemed non-existent. I felt stupid and hoped no-one had noticed. Why would anyone notice? There were all sorts of more interesting people around. I couldn’t believe the fashionably-dressed chic young women, hanging on to boyfriends’ or husbands’ arms. I don’t know why I was sure they weren’t young marrieds, but who knows.

Posted by:  ConnectedTraveler

One last look: Night Pictures in Macau

Worn out by all the excitement, a bed and pillow beckoned. Before turning in, I had another bathroom story. While I ran the sink tap, it didn’t sound right. I turned off the water to clear my head. I turned it on again. The bathtub drain gurgled water. I could not hear water going own the sink drain. Let me explain the layout. The foot of the tub was tucked lengthwise into left corner and the sink and cabinet were perpendicular at the foot, like an upside down L, the tub being the long end. A glass-doored shower shared a wall with the faucet end of the tub. Would you call that fancy plumbing? I can’t figure it out either. The biggest hotel in the world. Hm.

When I asked Sue about it, she hadn’t noticed the sound, but wondered why the tub was wet with water, which neither of us had used. Nice. What’s the reason North American hotels don’t have a 13th floor? Oh! It’s not because of the plumbing?

 * * *

Wakeup call buzzed at 7:30 a.m., on Saturday, Day 22. Luggage had to be downstairs near reception area by 8:15. Sue and I weren’t comfortable with this as a zillion people moved in and out around nearby elevators and the casino. The bellboy assured us he’d stand guard until they were transferred to the bus.

Steam coming out of the chimneys early morning before leaving for H.K.

Upon arrival at the ferry terminal, we lined up and were given numbered tickets. We had to fill out Hong Kong immigration forms while on board the Cotal Jet Ferry. It was a deep blue fearsome machine and looked like an army tank on water. Walking past, at about a third of its length, I changed my mind. It looked more like a plane. Inside the layout wasn’t unlike an airplane: 3-seat rows x 18 seats long x 5 sections across (270 passengers from my rough count). The ride was smooth as silk; quiet as a hydrofoil, but that’s my guesswork. I’ve never had the experience before.

Our ticket said next departure at 10:30, but it felt like hours before we finally were allowed inside and took off. The trip took about an hour. Water sprayed the ferry as we flew across the black water into the misty weather.

More Images Cotal Jet Ferry

Muted T.V. screens were turned on in front of every row. The seats were supplied with belts no-one used. If there were rules for them, I saw no signs, nor did anyone come around or make an announcement.

Upon arrival, we passed through roped off aisles with a million other people. I considered the process would take forever. I was wrong. After the experience in Macau, everything was so Chinese and foreign again. We craned our necks and gawked at expensive wines on display before the exit, but there was no opportunity or invitation to buy any.

Welcome to downtown Hong Kong

© Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8. All Rights Reserved.

Next on May 29, Day 22 (cont’d) Hong Kong (with lots of pictures)

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


Roses (part 3)

Part 1  &  Part 2


Odd. George wants me to call him at the unknown number. April chewed her lip. She paced the length of her kitchen and stared at the text message. He’d used the code they’d planned years ago, his first name and full initials: George gat. Why today? Wait! Not that sicko again.

Heart hammering she punched in the numbers. Someone picked up within half a ring. “George?”

“Yes, it’s me—”

“What happened to your cell? What’s going on?”

“Patty and I are at dinner. I expect my cell is in the car. This is her new one. How are you holding up?”

“George, you used the code—”

“Yes, as a precaution. I knew you wouldn’t recognize the number. Listen. Everything okay with you?”

“Everything okay with you? Like what? I can’t think. Give me a minute.” She held the phone to her chest, flung her head back and took a deep shaky breath, and blew it out the way she cooled her coffee, except in one long puff of air. The second time made her dizzy and a tension headache threatened to erupt. “I’m back. Something did happen. Someone knocked, but I didn’t want to answer. Later, I found a box of roses in front of my door.” Tears lurked in the corner of her eyes. She bit her lip.

“I see. A card or markings on the box?”


“Of course not. Anything about the roses?”

Blinding tears gushed free. Hiccup. “Henry’s and mine favorite. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? How is it even possible?”

“Let’s not jump ahead of ourselves. I’ll make some calls. Call you later, and stop worrying.”

“How can I?” Caramel galloped past her with the unique scream he used when the moon was full or when he was frisky. Back he came again and slammed into the fridge before braking.

“On second thought, Patty and I will drop in for a brandy on the way home. Feel better now?”

“Thanks, George. Tell Patty I’m sorry for ruining your dinner.”

“You didn’t. Sit tight.”

“What do you have there, kitty?”


© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved


#BlogBattle Week 10

Anyone can join. Check out the rules below:

This week’s prompt is …loop…

Threw Me For a Loop

I answered the ad though details were sparse. The 30th of May loomed large. A guy needs to have a place to stow his stuff. Carting it around in my car wasn’t my style and living out of a suitcase even less. Even cheesy motels added up to serious money in short time. Six-thirty worked fine, the creaky voice had said. I hadn’t given it much thought afterwards, but the voice had almost put me off.

* * *

The place stopped me in my tracks. I threw on the brakes and melted a couple inches of asphalt and overheated the tires. An unfamiliar neighborhood, this. I double checked the circled house number in the folded newspaper ad. Yup. The roadway mailbox read 1002. A perfect match! I smiled for the first time in maybe three months, my freshly shaved skin taut across my cheeks. Today my luck might change. Maybe. The turn-of-the-century mansion rose above rich green lawns surrounded by bountiful flowers of every color. Like a red jewel, it glittered high on the hill at the end of the driveway, each side safeguarded by young pines saplings. The lane seemed shorter than I’d thought.

The closest neighbors were a couple empty lots wide on either side. I suppose at one time older buildings had been torn down and the lots abandoned. I hauled myself out of the car and put on my suit jacket. It appeared nobody was home. The stillness, except for the twitter of birds, and the buzzing of bees, struck me right away. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. City air didn’t smell this good. The sweet scents of almost country cleared my head. I zigzagged up the crumbling cement stairs and rang the doorbell. The sonorous chimes echoed deep inside. I waited, back to the door, the imperfect, weed-riddled lawn yawned large.

My cell read 6:32 p.m. I leaned on the doorbell again, longer this time. Once white and perfect window frames begged scraping and fresh paint. Thuds and shuffles, unhurried, but steady, advanced towards the door. Afraid to scare whoever opened the door, I stepped back grazing my ear on the flaked paint.

Two locks turned, a chain slid through a chamber. The door opened a crack wide enough to display an shadowy eye. “Yes,” a reedy voice said.”

“Oh, hi. I’ve an appointment with Mrs. Alexander-Cook. We talked on the phone this morning? Name’s Talbot—Mike.” I almost pitched forward for a handshake but figured this wasn’t the time.

“Yes, you’re that young man. Come in.  Come in.” The inch gap widened and I slipped inside. So many windows at the front of the house. Leaded glass I presumed. “Follow me. We’ll sit in the parlour.” Thud. Shuffle. Thud. Shuffle. Her short steps dragged along the hardwood floor. I checked for rubber marks of her cane but found none.

As an impatient guy, I had the urge to pick up the bird of a woman and carry her in the hope we’d arrive before I turned forty. Paintings decorated the short hall walls. I thought I recognised a Matisse, A Woman Reading. It had to be a print. Who hung something of that value out in the open?

“Sit anywhere you like, Mike. A glass of lemonade perhaps. I took the liberty… Tell me about yourself.”

“Thanks. Can I pour for you Mrs. Alexander-Cook?” She had to be wiped after that painful shamble. How old might she be? Maybe a hundred? I half-filled two glasses and handed her one.

“Thank you. You sound a thoughtful young man.” She settled into a champagne sofa chair, brocade, and tucked the cane between the cushion and inside of the chair, feet inches off the floor.

I took a swallow. I hadn’t realized my thirst. “S-o-o-o good.” Even for a guy who enjoyed his brewskis, this tasted like ambrosia. I opened my eyes and caught the old lady scrutinize me, wearing the most divine smile, the brightest twinkle in her eye. For a fraction of a second, I recognized the beauty she had once been. The picture threw me for a loop. She wasn’t a hundred after all. Though her hair was white as cotton and face creased, her skin radiated pink as she blushed.

“Sorry Mrs. Alexander—“

“You can shorten it to Cook. Easier, don’t you think?”

“Okay. I’m 34, a soon-to-be divorced father of a four-year-old boy. I work downtown at Elliot and Elliot Engineering in Research and Development. For the past three months, I’ve moved from hotels to motels all nastier than the last. I’d held out hoping for a reconciliation, but my soon-to-be ex-wife refuses to reconsider.” I cleared my throat. Damn, how long would Christie’s unwavering alienation burn this raw? What about Junior and me? I squirmed in my seat.

Mrs. Cook raised an open palm, fingers curled and disfigured. “I’m 79 and have been a widow for almost five years. My children want to sell this house because I’m too old to live alone. Imagine that. My children treating me like a child.”

“I’m sorry Mrs. Cook. Does this mean—? I’m handy and enjoy fixing things, sanding, painting, keeping busy. Could work, right?”

Eyes aglow, she reached for her cane and slid her tiny frame out of the overstuffed chair. “Don’t you want to see the rest of the house? What if you don’t like it?”

Mike jumped out of his chair, placed their empty glasses on the coffee table tray and grabbed it. “Lead the way Mrs. C. Oops. That slipped out. No disrespect. Honest.” His ears bloomed scarlet, but Mrs. Cook giggled, a sound not unlike a gurgling spring.

“By the way I still enjoy cooking and am good at it. Do you like to eat?”


© 2015Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


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